Penalty clauses: the introduction of football’s penalty kick law

Penalty kicks generated fierce opposition when they were first introduced to football in the early 1890s, with amateur players of the day outraged at the implication that any good sportsman would commit a deliberate or “professional” foul. They protested by refusing to score or save them. This article for When Saturday Comes looks at the […]

Football hustlers: British players in America’s first pro soccer league

It was a Victorian football sensation. Five British players – four from Manchester City plus a former teammate now at Sheffield United – were missing, presumed poached by a mysterious foreign agent. “A sudden disappearance!” exclaimed one newspaper. “A Sheffielder taken!” was the headline in another. This 1894 mystery was solved after the players were […]

Inside out: Britain’s first indoor football league

In the early 1900s, an eccentric scheme to create Britain’s first indoor football league was opposed by the FA and ended in disaster for its protagonists. In the winter of 1905, an American entrepreneur launched an eccentric scheme to create Britain’s first indoor football league. The venue was London’s Olympia, the largest indoor arena in […]